Saturday, January 30, 2016

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Christmas can be very expensive.  What not save money on decorations and gifts while providing some fun for your family or friends? Here are a few very simple craft ideas that you can get your teeth into over the Christmas holidays. All of them are very simple so you don’t need specialist kit or much skill and you can get young children involved.

Paper Flowers

These are so simple and cheap to make and you can use them to make stunning gift decorations, hanging decorations, tree decorations, centre pieces, hair decorations and corsages. The only limit is your imagination. This is a great one to do with kids but would also be great fun with a load of girl friends.

All you need is a load of tissue paper and string, ribbon or pipe cleaners. You will need at least eight sheets of tissue paper cut to the same size stacked neatly on top of one another. The size of the paper with determine the size of the finished decoration and the number of sheets the thickness of the petals. Experiment to see what works for you. Once you have your stack of tissue paper fold it over in a concertina pattern until you have a single long thin stack of paper. Gently fold this in half to crease the paper in the middle.

Tie ribbon tightly around this central fold or use a pipe cleaner. Use scissors to round the two ends off so they look petal like.  Look at the image to the left to see what it should look like at this stage (there are 8 stacks here). Then simply tease the paper open. You can only do this half way to form a gift decoration or tease it out through 360 degrees for a round hanging decoration.

Pebble Monsters

A lot of these craft ideas are frankly a bit girly. This one will get the lads involved. All you need are some stones and water based paint. You can buy stick on eyes if you want. The kids can use their imagination or try and copy some of their favourite creepy monsters from films and TV programs. Just make sure you have the right colour paints for their favourites.

Snow Flake Decorations

These decorations are brilliant and very simple to make. All you need is an old jigsaw some paper glue, water soluble paint and some ribbon or string. These decorations look great on a tree, hung from windows or banisters.

The simple white version pictured here is great but you can go crazy with glitter, colours and decorations to tie in with your own theme or colour scheme.
If you don’t have an old jigsaw you will be able to pick a couple up from any charity shop for under a pound. Start by choosing a large jigsaw piece or just cut out some round shapes from some cardboard. This will form your centre piece. Then glue 5 or 6 jigsaw pieces around the edge of the centre piece. Leave the glue to dry and then paint and decorate. Leave to dry again. Finally attach a piece of ribbon or string to the back of the snowflake using glue, a stapler or use a large needle to thread ribbon through one of the jigsaw pieces.

Ribbon Trees
The first job is to go for a walk and collect some sticks. These will form the trunk of your trees. The second job is get hold of some string, ribbon or scraps of tough paper or fabric. You can buy them but its more fun to go hunting in charity shops and the loft. Simple cut your material into strips of slightly different lengths and tie them round your sticks, longest at the bottom and shortest at the top. Have a look at this image to get an idea of what I mean.
Use scissors to trim the ribbons to perfect a triangle tree shape. You can use glue to stick on glitter and other items to decorate your tree. Use stars, stickers, jewels or hunt through the garden for berries leaves and nuts. Tie string or ribbon to the top of the tree so you can attach it to railings or hang it from your real Christmas Tree. Alternatively use the free stick at the bottom of your tree to attach it to a table decoration or set it into an orange or plastercine.
Just have a go – cheap family fun!


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